The east coast of Koh Chang is the least visited part of the island. It does not have the stunning beaches and magnificent vistas at west coast resorts such as Kai Bae or White Sand, yet has a number of calm and relaxing bungalow and holiday resorts which allow guest to enjoy Koh Chang’s diverse and abundant tourism draws.
The drive down the east coast from the ferry ports is pleasant with a quiet road that follows the shores, which are inset with distinctive red-tinged beaches. Resorts along the route are set against a backdrop of fruit orchards and mountains topped with verdant rainforest. At the end of the rainy season, waterfalls in the east are on tour routes for Koh Chang visitors.
Koh Chang’s eastern seaboard is the preferred destination for those looking for a peaceful holiday. Resorts do not crowd beaches and, at the few that are here, guests are able to leave the shade of their parasol and be in the water in less than a minute for a cool, refreshing dip.
The governmental centre at Dan Mai is around a third of the way down the 25km long east coast. Than Mayom Waterfall is nearby and the village’s concrete pier stretches out into aquamarine seas giving good island views. The pier is a favourite with angling enthusiasts.
Tan Mayom is a medium height cataract with two levels. It comes under the control of the country’s National Parks Department and foreign adult tourists have to pay a 200 Baht admission fee. A meandering path leads through shade trees from the entry to the bathing pool at the bottom of the waterfall.
A little farther down the east coast Salak Kok Bay is home to one of Thailand’s finest mangrove forests. The sheltered bay has channels and islets lined with mangroves. An interesting activity for visitors here is to take a guided kayak tour or even rent a kayak to explore the bay.
A popular health and wellness spa centre is located in the pristine environs of Salak Kok Bay. The Spa Koh Chang Resort offer traditional timber Thai accommodation and the chance of taking curative and rejuvenating saunas, massages, spas, steam baths and swims in a saltwater pool.
Salak Phet Bay is at the bottom of the eastern half of Koh Chang. This bay is protected from the fiercer winds that blow through the region during the June-September rainy season. The bay offers a marina where craft for activities that include sailing, canoeing, diving and sightseeing depart from.
Salak Phet Seafood & Resort is located on the bay and has an open-sided waterside dining room which attracts cool breezes and has arguably the finest seafood dishes on the island. The resort also offers dive tours to Koh Rang and Koh Wai.
Khiri Phet Waterfall is a majestic sight around two kilometres from Salak Phet and flows all year round. There is a small pool at the bottom which is great for swimming during the dry season, but not advisable in the wet due to strong currents.
Long Beach is located at the southernmost tip of the island and boasts a fantastic stretch of sands and calm seas suitable for swimming most of the year, although it is a good idea to keep an eye on rainclouds during the wet season. A road only recently linked this remote peninsula to the rest of Koh Chang. It is primarily a destination for those seeking deserted sands and rustic bungalows and cafés.